Problem Solved: 5 of the Best Holiday Favorites for Visiting Family

The best part about the holidays is all the family visiting… until about day three… when even the cousins that you love the most can start to feel a little less like the friends and family at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life, and little more like Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation. “You serious Clark?”

I love my family, I really do (especially those of you reading this, Hi mom!), but around Christmas time my household goes from four people and a dog to well over 75 and countless furry visitors packed into our and other nearby family members houses. Needless to say, adventures out of the house have become a staple of our family gatherings around the holidays. If you have a house full of ‘Cousin Eddies’ and are in need of a day trip here are five of my family’s favorite ways to keep the holiday spirit(s) around Franklin, Tennessee.

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Masters & makers is a scenic trail that covers wineries, distilleries and breweries throughout Williamson County, Tennessee

Masters & Makers Trail

The perfect day trip around Franklin and all the communities of Williamson County, the Masters & Makers Trail takes you on a visit of the area’s distilleries, brewery, and Middle Tennessee’s largest winery. More than just tastings, which are available at each stop (cheers!), you’ll also learn about the unique stories at each spot. Stories like how the growth of Tennessee’s whiskey industry can be traced back to H Clark Distillery and about the old moonshine running from the site of Leiper’s Fork Distillery are just the whiskey related stories! At Mill Creek Brewing Co., you’ll immediatly embrace their mantra of “Less Fuss. More Beer.” and at Arrington Vineyards you just might be greeted by country music royalty!

No matter your taste for the ‘spirits’ of the season, each stop around the scenic Masters & Makers Trail includes countless other stops along the way for a meal or an adventure sure to make for family memories you’ll treasure forever.

Hello Trolley in Franklin, Tenn.

Take A Holiday Light Tour

Hop aboard the Hello Trolly at the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin and let them take you through some of the most incredible neighborhood holiday light displays in town. There are a number of aspiring Clark Griswalds around Franklin and the lengths they go to in order to show their holiday spirit is nothing short of incredible.

Walton's Jewelry in Franklin, TN is a great shopping destination for holiday gifts!

Find your annual Christmas keepsake on Main Street

One of the biggest traditions our family has in the days around the holidays is finding a really good deal at all the Christmas sales. This is also when we find that annual Christmas keepsake. My wife tries to convince me this should be a new piece of jewelry every year, while we tend to settle on an ornament to add to the tree. If you share the same thinking as my wife, your first stop on Main Street will be Walton’s Jewelry, where they have also been known to make it snow on Main Street. One of the best places you’ll find to pick up that special ornament is the Heirloom Shop on Main Street. Their selection is second to none and is where Trisha Yearwood and Jenna Bush Hagar did a little shopping for their ornaments on The Today Show last year.

Third Coast Clay

Take the kids to make Christmas gifts at Third Coast Clay

If you have young kids, you know full well that they will need some activity and adventure to fill their day. Take them over to Third Coast Clay inside of The Factory at Franklin and let their imaginations run wild. They will have the chance to paint premade pieces of art. Third Coast Clay has hundreds and hundreds of premade options you can choose from, then all you and the kids have to do is let your imagination go wild with paint and design.

Christie Cookie

Eat all the sweets at local bakeries

It is not a proper holiday celebration without holiday treats. Luckily around Franklin, Tennessee, there seems to be a tasty treat around every corner. It is hard to choose just one favorite, so my advice is to just try them all! It’s the holidays after all, and New Year’s resolutions are still a week away. If you want to narrow the selections down just a bit though, here are 10 bakeries that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Matthew Maxey